We’re Bummed Out By The PlayStation Classic

We’re Bummed Out By The PlayStation Classic

Why is the PlayStation Classic such a bummer? This week on Kotaku Splitscreen, we discuss that question and much more.

First, Kirk and I break down the news of the week on the PlayStation Classic’s dismal list of games, that hilarious Fallout 76 beta bug, and the new game from the creator of Undertale.

Then (21:14) we take another deep dive into Red Dead Redemption 2, one of the most fascinating games I’ve ever played. We talk about how it bucks AAA conventions, how weird it is, and how it hits a new bar for details that miiiiiight just be unsustainable. Plus: much more.

Listen here:

Get the MP3 here or read an excerpt of us talking PS Classic:

Jason: …There are a few good games on here, don’t get me wrong. Tekken 3 is a classic, Wild Arms is a great JRPG. Final Fantasy VII, obviously. But not only is it missing all the classic PlayStation games like Tomb Raider and Spyro and Crash Bandicoot, it’s also missing all of the games that made that platform great, like Final Fantasy Tactics, and Xenogears, and a bunch of others that I could list.

So basically this thing is just – I don’t see why anyone would want it unless they want to hack it to get more games on there, which I think might be a reason to get one. But man, $149.95 for this thing is just a major disappointment, especially after the killer lineup of the Super Nintendo Classic.

So I know you didn’t grow up with a PlayStation — does this interest you at all?

Kirk: No. I’m not interested in this one. I saw someone make this observation that’s probably a pretty common one: the appeal of the Super Nintendo Classic is that it’s the pinnacle machine of the 2D era, and the PlayStation is just a more awkward console because it’s the beginning of the 3D era, so it’s more awkward.

I didn’t have a PlayStation, I don’t have any affinity for any of those games or series, even to the point that I do with Super Nintendo games, despite that I didn’t own a Super Nintendo either. So yeah, I have zero reason to buy this one. Plus, owning the Super Nintendo Classic has put me off buying these anymore, because it’s cool and everything but I literally never use it. It just sits here on my desk.

Jason: That’s fair, although you could if you didn’t have so many other things to play. You could totally pick it up and say, ‘Hey, why don’t I try Earthbound for the first time?’

Kirk: Sure, but I have Earthbound on other systems, and also— Exactly, I don’t use it because there are other things I’m playing instead, that’s the whole problem.

Jason: To your point, by the way, I think in general 2D games have aged better than those early polygonal 3D games, which look terrible today and feel super clunky, so many of them. Even playing Mario 64 today is not quite as smooth as playing, say, Super Mario World today.

Kirk: That’s interesting. That sort of technological divide that can happen when a new type of technology is being explored. I think about this a lot with Fantasia 2000, that movie, and people have made this point with computer-animated movies versus hand-drawn animation. Going to see Fantasia 2000 now, it’s a really cool movie still, but there are these sequences where it’s very clearly computer animated, and there are these parts where it’s like, ‘Oh this looks very much like early 2000s CGI.’

And then they do the Sorcerer’s Apprentice and it’s hand-drawn Mickey and it looks beautiful and everything looks amazing and you’re like oh, because they drew that by hand. Sort of a similar parallel there.

Jason: It’s true, whenever you’re entering this realm of new technology, especially graphical technology, there’s always going to be those awkward pre-pubescent years when it’s still trying to figure out what it actually is.

Kirk: And it makes for such a fun experience of looking at the covers of old PC and PlayStation magazines where the headline blares, ‘Graphics you’ve never seen before!’ next to the worst-looking polygonal garbage screenshot of just brown nonsense.

Jason: It’s crazy. ‘This is the cutting edge! This is the future of graphics!’

Kirk: And you always wonder if people are going to look back at Red Dead Redemption 2 in ten years and laugh at everybody freaking out about how that game looks.

Jason: It’s hard to imagine. Because even back then, I owned a PlayStation 1 on launch, and even back then I remember thinking, ‘Oh god this is ugly, I wish this was 2D.’ One of the reasons I loved games like Suikoden and Lunar and other JRPGs like that is because a lot of them were 2D and stuck with that, which wound up tanking them sales-wise because everyone just wanted to buy 3D games at that point, but if you look back at them now they’re still beautiful.


  • I’m kinda just hoping it’s as moddable as the NES and SNES mini were, could make a great little mini emulation machine.

  • I have been thinking about it over the past few days and have come to a funny revelation. Sony had the perfect PS Mini several years ago. The PS TV. It had a relatively cheap price point, could play any PS1, PSP or Vita game on PSN (well, sort of if the games enabled it), had an expandable library and connected to your TV.

    It kind of feels like yet another example of Sony having a great opportunity but screwing it up badly because of a lack of effort.

  • I’m not cancelling my preorder, I’m still getting it. I’m happy enough with the lineup of game on it. Is it missing a few? Sure, but you were never gonna please everyone. Gotta focus on the games that are actually included rather than the games that are missing.

  • I really enjoy googling old gaming magazines that I read when I was a kid. I love me some nostalgia! Megazone, Hyper, PC Powerplay. The late 90s early 2000s were just my gaming time. But yes, the gfx were terrible on most games and we knew that. We just had low standards. It helped keep us happy. It was like Oh wow, in this new game the ppl have fingers. Cool! What will they be able to do next???

  • WhitePointer dude you may still be getting the Playstation Classic but my answer is yes there are some games that are still missing for the Playstation Classic and yet I’m not happy at all and I will not be getting the Playstation Classic for Christmas because I demand some answers from Sony.
    Where is Ape Escape?
    Where is Fox Interactive’s Croc Legend of the Gobbos?
    Where is Naughty Dog’s Crash Bandicoot?
    Where is BANDAI NAMCO’S Pac-Man?
    Where is Insomniac Games Spyro the Dragon?
    Sony may think they are going to compete against Nintendo but they are no match against Nintendo because Sony are nothing but a bunch of dickheads.
    WhitePointer dude good luck getting the Playstation Classic on the second shipment because I’m not going to put up with those 20 preloaded Playstation Classic games from Sony they are nothing but complete garbage.

    • Crash Bandicoot recently got remastered, Spyro is being remastered. I doubt their publishers would give up the rights to the originals as it would cut into the sales of the remasters.

      Where is Legend of Dragoon, that’s what I want to know.

      Either way without an analog controller this machine is a waste of time.

  • It just seems a bit pointless for me since I still have a PS3 hooked up to my TV and I can get most of the PS1 mini games that I’m interested in off the PS Store and play them on that.

    I bought a SNES mini because it had a bunch of games I was interested in and I didn’t already own a device that I could easily play them on.

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